Things continue to look grim for Boeing. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rejected Boeing's proposal to leave wiring bundles in place on the grounded 737 MAX, stating that the bundles are “not compliant", reported CNBC.
“The FAA continues to engage with Boeing as the company works to address a recently discovered wiring issue with the 737 MAX,” said a spokesman for the agency. “The manufacturer must demonstrate compliance with all certification standards. The aircraft will be cleared for return to passenger service only after the FAA is satisfied that all safety-related issues are addressed.”
Not a safety threat
Boeing continues to argue that the bundles do not pose a safety threat stating that the same placement of the wiring has been used in more than 200 million hours of flight. However, technical staff with the FAA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency claim the wiring bundles could potentially short-circuit, causing pilots to lose control of the plane.
They state that the wiring bundles are too close in more than a dozen different locations on the 737 MAX with most located under the cockpit in an electrical bay. If the bundles are indeed deemed to pose a hazard, regulations would require separating them or adding physical barriers.
Regardless of what happens with the MAX wiring bundles, Boeing is still determined to achieve its target for the MAX to start taking flight once more by the middle of the year. The plane has been grounded since March 2019 after the two devastating crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia caused the deaths of all 346 people on board.
Boeing plans to make the wiring bundle alterations when it updates more than 400 MAX planes that have been built but not yet delivered. The firm says it hopes to start delivering those planes later this year after receiving approval from the FAA for the MAX to return to service.